In a time spent apart, our creativity becomes resourceful. Our rituals are a reminder of what roots us. Our community and virtual acts of connection are all the more vital, and yet the claim to our own space all the more necessary, too.
What does it mean now to have room of your own? Has it changed or remained the same? If a photograph, an essay, a poem, a piece of art could reflect your “room” in these historic days, what would it look like? Tell us … Do you have a room of your own?
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“My Mac is My Room of My Own” by Carol Radsprecher
I’m a native Brooklynite who will never leave. I’m a longtime painter who taught myself some Photoshop and find that this medium suits me perfectly. I have an MFA in painting from Hunter College, CUNY. Very liberal politically; atheist; elderly; little money. English-speaking only, unfortunately. You can find me at my website: www.carolradsprecher.com. On Facebook: Carol Radsprecher. On Instagram: @cradsprecher. Be safe, all!
“A Room of My Own” by Christiana Martin
Give me a place where sunlight spills in unfettered, spreading itself out like a lazy cat.
Give me a space where words may come to me unhindered and flow out onto notebook paper.
Give me a room with no color on the walls so the colors can float in front of me.
Give me a room with windows to match my open heart. Give me a room where my body
can explore my ideas, where I can take up all the space I want.
Give me a door that I can close when my soul selects its own society. Give me a journal
so I can soar or plunge. Give me music that makes me think.
Give me a room big enough to hold all of who God made me. Give me a room quiet
enough to embrace my loud. Give me a workshop to write this down.
I used creative license by putting a twist on Virginia Woolf’s title “A Room of One’s Own” and by making an allusion to Emily Dickinson’s “The Soul Selects Her Own Society.” I am a Christian who loves to use the creativity I was given. I am in my senior year at Messiah College. I believe art is a great communicator, and I’m excited to share mine with the world. I have a blog, which you can check out here: hellohumanitysite.wordpress.com
“Where I Live and What I Do There” by Henri Bensussen
There is a brook behind Brookdale, the senior community I live in, beyond the chain link fence.
On our side, an asphalt drive, a dale of sorts, busy with cars and residents walking their dogs,
pushing walkers to hold themselves against a fall, and often a fire truck with EMTs and their
fellow travelers, the ambulance crew that wait to take the wounded away.
The brook is named Paulin Creek, after the family that settled near it ages ago. They were the
Paulins, and the creek was pristine and free-running. Now it’s “civilized,” channeled, chopped,
and constrained, a draw for those without homes, and those who want to wander through what’s
left of nature. A path follows on the bank above the creek for almost a mile, crossing a major
boulevard of speeding cars and buses where the creek goes underground. No camping allowed,
but some do it anyway.
People walk the path for the sound of water and chirping birds, to watch the trees turn color in
fall, gain back green in spring, the smell of wild dill and anise. It’s a place to loiter for lunch, and
then to throw the leftover packaging down, thinking it will float to a trash can, or maybe the
eater’s been trashed and tossing plastic bags and paper cups back to the ground of its
manufacture is a symbolic commentary.
A Kingfisher flashes above the water, and pairs of Mallards show up often. Sometimes an egret
sleeps in one of the oaks lining the creek. I’ve heard migrating woodpeckers drilling into the
deadened pines. Mostly it’s quiet, compared to the streets, only the wind bustling through. Once,
following a big storm, I saw a new bike down there, abandoned. In spring, plants leaf out and
bloom: roses, jasmine, thorns, escaped domestics gone feral, radish and mustard, yarrow, red
maids, clover. I pick a few weeds to take back to my apartment to keep for a few days in a bit of
Almost four years ago my partner and I moved here, a 2 bedroom/1 bath, a mini kitchen without
a stove; we had a microwave. The second bedroom was our shared workspace, until she died;
now it’s all mine. Computer, file cabinets, books, telephone, printer, paper—lots of paper,
notebooks, magazines, torn pages from magazines and articles from newspapers, pieces of paper
with notes and numbers, business cards, CDs, lists, instructions, thesaurus (some kind of
dinosaur?), dictionary, collages and art for the walls, pinned on postcards, lamps, a radio that
picks up mostly static, this chair I sit in, rugs, but really this room is a giant mess, and yet, it’s all
mine and always there, ready and waiting for whatever use it can be for my creative endeavors.
I am virus-free as of this moment, and still free to escape outdoors. My poems, anchored in the natural world, have appeared in var. journals, incl. Eclipse, Sinister Wisdom, Common Ground Review, and her chapbook, “Earning Colors,” Finishing Line Press, 2015; stories anthologized in Of Burgers and Barrooms (Main Street Rag), Beyond the Yellow Wallpaper: New Tales of Madness (New Lit Salon Press); and Lisa Locasio, ed., Golden State 2017: Best New Fiction and Nonfiction from California, Outpost 19 Press. She earned a B.A. in Biology at UCSC, served on the board of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, and feels a close connection to mushrooms. Find Henri on Poets & Writers.